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Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete First Season
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Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete First Season (DVD)
Like its fellow HBO series Sex and the City, this half-hour comedy broke some TV rules and went from critics' darling to an award-winning series in three years. Curb is the brainchild of star-creator Larry David who co-created Seinfeld and was the basis for the easily rattled George Costanza (who was played by Jason Alexander). Like George, David has a tendency to speak too much, blow things out of proportion, and, most often, fail in the end (and often liking it that way). David's new show is also like his predecessor: it's about "nothing" except following the day-to-day ramblings of a sometime writer and comic (this time in L.A.). Eternal questions stemming from universal daily dilemmas are honed to perfect comedic absurdity. A notable exception is the show is only scripted by plot; much of the action is improvised. The first season starts with a one-hour mockumentary following David's return to stand-up for the first time in years; the other 10 episodes follow a more traditional sit-com setup.
David plays "himself" (as does his friend, Richard Lewis) although his manager and wife are played by comedians Jeff Garlin and Cheryl Hines. Although this first season is a comedic gem, one can't take more than an episode or two at a time--it's acidic, biting comedy. The episodes are often built like a house of cards, which the irritable David will surely collapse by the end. Like another caustic TV character, Dabney Colman's Buffalo Bill (1983-84), Larry David is not for everybody. --Doug Thomas
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have a neurotic or paranoid friend (and most of us do), then Larry David will instantly remind you of him or her. While the George character in Seinfeld was patterned after Larry David, the funny thing here is that Larry David here is extremely successful from the hit Seinfeld TV show, so you wonder why he worries so much about things that shouldn't even matter! I guess that's what makes this show so funny.
Not only is the first season littered with some of the best episodes (Ted and Mary, Porno Gil, etc.), they also provide some of the greatest quotable lines from Larry and the rest of his supporting cast. Cheryl Hines, who plays Larry's wife, was a stroke of genius in terms of casting (the cold, hard stares she throws in Larry's direction are priceless), and Jeff's wife is a fireball of expletive poetry who could quiet Tony Soprano on his worst day.
The DVD comes with the hour-long special that preceded the actual series, so if you pick this up, be sure to watch that first, since I think that it's referenced a couple times throughout the season, althought that might've happened later in Season 2. You also get an interview between Larry David and Bob Costas, which is pretty uncomfortable at times, but provides for some decent info. Finally, there's a commentary for the first episode, which is pretty funny, but don't expect Criterion-caliber here. Larry talks on this track about as much as Robert DeNiro does on his commentary tracks: very little.Read more ›
I don't have cable, so had never seen CYE on HBO; I purchased it on good advice from several friends. My experience watching the DVDs was a mixed bag. I saw strong shades of the inimitable George Costanza, who is in my humble opinion one of the greatest characters ever on television. But this show lacked Jason Alexander's delivery and frenzied struggle with the cruel tricks life can throw at you. Larry also lacks George's willingness to sink to any level to get what he wants. As Elaine said to Jerry in an episode of Seinfeld where he was slated to take a lie detector test and thought it would be easy to "beat" the machine, "Who do you think you are? Costanza?"
The "about nothing" and "comedy of coincidence" traits that made Seinfeld a classic are all here, yet somehow didn't elicit the same laughs - for me anyway. I knew it was funny, but yet it doesn't make me laugh out loud often. Perhaps Larry seems to take too much of it lying down, or it feels forced in spots. I didn't "buy it" much of the time. The fact he and his wife seem like a very unlikely pairing didn't help.
Overall it's a fun ride, but unlike "The Office" I don't feel the desire to rewatch episodes to pick up on missed subtleties. Worth a watch on the plane I think.
About the DVD: The DVD is fine, it includes the "HBO Special" that inspired the series, however the audio commentary is sparse, and each episode is 1 chapter, so there is no skipping ahead in an episode, you just have to watch the whole thing.
Most recent customer reviews
I have been strongly encouraged to watch this series, based on my enjoyment of Seinfeld, Extras, Arrested Development, and the like. Looking forward to watching. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jason Hicks (Toronto, Canada)
As stated prior, that being a Larry David fan. I gifted this to someone under a lot of stress. Their response " knocked out the stress "Published 8 months ago by James G.
The best TV comedy I've ever seen. No script - all ad lib. Amazing! Larry David is a genius as an author and an actor.Published on Jan. 26 2014 by J. F. Barros
I loved Seinfeld so much, I was so happy when I discovered this show. The best thing on TV today.Published on May 21 2013 by Jacob Delaney